You've experienced childhood trauma that is negatively impacting your marriage and your sexual well-being. It sounds like it's important to you to keep your relationships in balance. I do recommend counseling, and I understand it might be a challenge for you to take this step without it affecting the balance of your relationships. You are an adult victim of sexual abuse. There are many counselors who specialize in treating adult victims of sexual abuse. I recommend that you go to 'find a therapist' on pschologytoday.com, choose your state, then on the sidebar choose 'sexual abuse' as their specialty. Make that call, and start the conversation. You will be able to relay the challenges you are facing regarding privacy, and if applicable, any financial considerations. The counselor's office will help you take your next step. Good luck, we care for your sexual and emotional health.View Thread
There are a lot of responses here from a lot of people who are experiencing sexual, emotional and even conversational disconnection from their significant others.
At my clinic we chiefly treat sexual addiction although we do see clients for sexual therapy and intimacy issues. Most forms of sexual addiction can be traced to intimacy disorder. This often has its roots in early childhood development with the attachment patterns that are experienced. There are many great books on this subject.
We treat partners too, who have their own issues. Although outwardly partners may not exhibit sexual addiction or sexual anorexia, they usually suffer from intimacy disorders as well, the result of their own early attachment patterns with caregivers. One of the mechanisms that partners unconsciously use to cope with their own long-standing issues is by attracting sex addicts or sexual anorexics whose outward behavior is symptomatic of their own inner intimacy disorder.
It is very challenging if not impossible to point the finger at any significant other and expect them to change. Recovery starts within, by taking responsibility for any situation which we have attracted into our lives. Resources for recovery include sex therapists, marriage therapists, 12-Step groups, Christian support groups, books and online websites. Personal recovery - even for the partner - especially for the partner - leads to building intimacy in ALL relationships. It's that simple, although it's not that easy. I wish you the best of luck for actualizing your healthy, sexual potential.View Thread
You went to counseling for marital issues - your wife felt as though her love was "dwindling." The ensuing discussion and therapeutic work resulted in closer intimacy. That's great. You're very lucky to be in a relationship where both members are willing to work towards solution and better communication. "Dwindling love" and loss of interest towards a partner often have roots in early childhood experiences. These core issues rarely go away with short-term counseling. Since you found counseling to be helpful, I would suggest that your wife, if she's amenable, to continue with individual counseling to examine these issues, as well as consult with her doctor. Oftentimes these core issues create a recurring emotional loop from closeness to distance in relationships. There are also 12-Step support groups for couples such as Recovering Couples Anonymous. There are cases where someone is experiencing issues related to sexual intimacy, but only the partner is willing to get help. This is actually pretty common. It does not appear that this is the case for you, but in any case it can be helpful as a partner to seek help for our own issues related to the issue. Individual Counseling or 12-Step support groups such as Codependents Anonymous might provide some relief.View Thread
I understand your confusion and grief over the lack of sexual intimacy with your husband. This sounds like a possible form of sexual anorexia, the compulsive avoidance of giving and receiving sexual love. I recommend finding a sex therapist in your area. Here is a link to help you with your search: http>//iitap.com/find_csat.cfm
If your husband is unwilling to attend couples counseling, it would be beneficial for you to find a sex therapist for yourself as the partner of a sexual anorexic.
You might also consider 12-Steps programs, particularly Al-Anon and CoDA which focus on partner issues. There are also 12-Step support groups for partners of Sex Addicts (including anorexics) such as COSLAA and COSA. An online search for each group will give you the meeting list for your area.
Any work that you can do for yourself will provide clarity and give you tools for establishing intimacy and healthy boundaries in every relationship in which you choose to participate.
My feeling is that this is very difficult for you and that something in your communication needs to change. Either she needs to understand better what you are going through, or you need to understand better what she is going through (or both!). Not necessarily so that your sex life will change, but so that you simply know and understand each other better and more intimately. Couples counseling can be very facilitative in this regard.
I really understand how difficult it might feel to make an appointment to see a sex addiction counselor, but it is much easier to do that than to continue going through the difficult emotional time that you are experiencing. Sex addiction therapy is not shameful or wrong, it is simply a wonderful opportunity to connect you with the parts of yourself that are self-sabotaging, and also allows you to learn to set boundaries wtih yourself and others.
I agree that everyone has a different answer to this question. If it is interfering with your life and relationships, then you are masturbating too much. Also, pay special attention to whether or not your masturbation patterns are pulling you away from actually seeking physical contact with other people (especially if pornography is involved). Some people masturbate all of the time and still look for chances to be physical with others, and some people develop a "relationship" with masturbation that excludes the desires to pursue healthy sexual relationships. Just be aware of these issues, and if you have specific questions about your habits, don't be afraid to see a professional sex counselor or therapist who can give you more specific guidance. Best of luck!View Thread
I appreciate your sharing on this post and your question. You have a beautiful opportunity to begin loving yourself more and completely accepting all parts of your body. I agree with many other posts that a man who you have a relationship will not be turned off by scars on the back of your heels. You are so much more than a body to be scrutinized, and anyone who you are involved with will see you with the eyes of one who is interested in all aspects of who you are. Plus, you can be honest about your first time with your first sexual partner, and ask him to be slow and deliberate so that you don't need to worry too much about pain. Best of luck to you!View Thread